Thursday, May 25

World Women Riders: Ana María Lema, Colombia

Meet Ana Maria Lema Velez from Colombia. While having a talk with her, team TnW  could make out how motorcycling changed her life. She wanted to be a cop just because she can get a chance to ride motorcycles !! Ana says, “Every ride gives me new abilities and I feel more secure riding my motorcycle.”

My name is Ana Maria Lema Velez, 42. I am from Medellín, Colombia, South America. My passion for bikes, is genetic. When I was a kid, I wanted to become a policewoman, so that my employer would give me a motorcycle.

Ana María Lema Vélez (10)

I learned how to ride  when I was about 12 years old. But then  I dropped my plans of becoming a policewoman, but rather a Civil Engineer. When I was 20, I bought my first bike: Juanchis, a 1994 Italian Vespa.

Then time came where I could easily afford a car but always wanted a big trail motorcycle. I saw the riders travelling around my country, in groups, on their motorcycles. Then I realized that this is what I wanted to do.

Ana María Lema Vélez (3)

In 2013, I bought a BMW F650GS, Aurelia, and with her I started following my huge passion. Frankly speaking,  it brought a drastic change in my life. With Aurelia I began to travel around Medellín, I started gaining confidence as a rider.

Ana María Lema Vélez (8)

In 2014 I changed Aurelia for Selene, a BMW F700GS, and with her I traveled a lot all around Colombia. Later, I discovered a new thing- motorcycle off-roading and my interest / passion reclined towards that.

Right now, I own a Yamaha WR250F and a BMW R1200GS, Juliberto, the top of the maxi trail bikes, and I keep traveling a lot, and still do off roading.

Ana María Lema Vélez (2)

Colombia is a gorgeous country in North West South America. I’ve known my country and thanks to my motorcycles. I’ve visited the sea, the snow, the mountains, the lakes, and soon I will be visiting the plains.

Thanks to my motorcycle. In 8 hours, I can be to the other side of the country, enjoying beautiful landscapes during my trip.

I’ve gone through many riding courses, on road and off, and have tried some small rallies too. Every course I take, gives me new abilities and I feel more secure riding my motorcycle.

I don’t do mechanics to my bikes. I don’t enjoy it because I don’t know how to. I am always surrounded by nice, manly gentleman who are happy to help a lady in trouble.

My male mates are absolutely lovely. It was very strange to them when I started riding motorcycles, but right now they take care of me. They teach me a lot of things and have respect for me. I do have a great time with them, and I’ve made lifetime friends in these groups. I rarely ride with other girls. It’s not frequent to find women riding big motorcycles in Colombia.

Ana María Lema Vélez (5)

Right now, few girls have joined me, but you can still count us in the fingers of one hand. People usually act in a surprised manner when they see a woman riding such a huge motorcycle; they admire and respect it. Few make very funny comments that make me laugh out loud.

Because I ride a lot, I am known to lot of people, for example, Colombian motorcycle Rally Dakar riders, Mateo Moreno and Juan Esteban Sarmiento. I admire them a lot, not just as sportsmen, but as persons. Following the Rally Dakar, I noticed there is an amazing woman who runs it, the Spanish Laia Saenz. I started following her through social media. I see her and think “I want to be like her someday”. She is a warrior, a disciplined competitor and a very feminine rider. That’s the kind of rider I want to be when I grow up !!

Ana María Lema Vélez

My family loves that I am so passionate about my motorcycles and have so much fun riding. My grandmother suffers a bit, but now she’s happy. I have three sisters, and two of them have also ridden motorcycles since their teens; they are not road riders like I am, but I will have them convinced soon.

I do get a few complaints from my mother about spending every weekend riding and not spending that much time with her, so I try to compensate her every once in a while.

I would like to say to other girls that ride any bike you want, just try out and you will find a wonderful world full of surprises, knowledge, friends and experiences that will fulfill the life.

(Unedited and as told to team TNW)

Posted by: Megha Madhavan 

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